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Democrats can't celebrate on Amazon

Amazon has signed a lease for a new

Amazon has signed a lease for a new office space in Manhattan that will house more than 1,500 employees. The company said the new office will be in a building near Hudson Yards, and is expected to open in 2021. Credit: AP/Mark Lennihan

Your strong editorial laid bare the truth about the Amazon headquarters issue [“1,500 new Amazon jobs don’t compare to new HQ,” Dec. 10].

New York State Sen. Michael Gianaris and Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, two Democrats who succeeded in their opposition to a new Amazon headquarters in Queens, show a stunning disregard for facts. The 1,500 new jobs near Hudson Yards are but 6% of the 25,000 jobs proposed for Long Island City’s now-torpedoed headquarters site. That’s hardly the stuff of a victory lap.

Disregarding facts to support personal agendas is nothing new. President Donald Trump has taken this tactic to a higher level.

I am a lifelong Democrat, and I believe that we must encourage public-private partnerships to build our local economy. To storm the barricades of capitalism is counterproductive. Gianaris and Ocasio-Cortez need a big-time dose of reality.

Andrew J. Sparberg,


Why won’t Zeldin stand up to Russia?

Russia continues to be a dangerous adversary to not only the United States but also to Western Europe [“The evidence against Russia,” Opinion, Dec. 8].

A recent resolution passed in the House of Representatives, 339-71, with a large bipartisan vote. The resolution calls on all leaders of the G-7 to “oppose the readmission of Russia unless and until it has ended its occupation of all of Ukraine’s sovereign territory, including Crimea, and halts its attacks on democracies worldwide.”

Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) was among the 71 Republicans who voted against the resolution.

With Russia implicated at least tangentially in the current impeachment hearings, what could Zeldin think can be gained by not supporting the resolution?

Peter Hanson,


Editor’s note: The writer is a committeeman of the Smithtown Democratic Party.


Nicotine from vaping bad for teens

A Nov. 23 news story, “Teen smoking drops as e-cig use goes up,” reported that teen cigarette smoking is at a new low. I believe a more apt title would have been, “Nicotine use in teens rises.” The article says 1 in 4 teenagers is vaping, which often involves intake of nicotine. According to Juul, one 5% strength Juul pod is designed to replace one pack of cigarettes in nicotine strength. You cannot smell electronic cigarettes on your teen. This allows them to feel less likely to be caught by their parents. Teen use of electronic cigarettes is seen by the federal government as an epidemic.

The long-term effects of vaping have not been studied, so we cannot bury our heads in the sand and start self-congratulating that we are winning the anti-smoking war. It is a false victory. We have seen reports of people getting critically sick or dying after vaping.

Neeja Baijal,

 Dix Hills


Happy about Fed’s social concerns

It was so refreshing to read the article “New priority for Fed: plight of the less fortunate” [Business, Nov. 26].

Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell’s interest in encouraging more opportunities for jobs in our country is great. He has withstood relentless pummeling by the current administration, but has shown how positive engagement with unions, educators and other groups attempting to assist people with finding employment really helps the economy grow. This will encourage employers to be creative in locating and training suitable employees. This in turn will help our economy to grow healthfully and with long-term sustainability.

Thank you, Chairman Powell, for being engaged with everyday citizens.

Valerie Schroeder,

   Wading River


Is America going the way of Turkey?

During a trip I took to Turkey in 2006, a tour guide lamented the loss of democracy under President Recep Tayyip Erdogan. Luckily, she fled the country one year later. Since then, things have gotten worse in Turkey.

Like that guide in 2006, I am today very scared of what is happening to our democracy. We have a president who attacks the “fake news,” blames others for the problems we have, viciously attacks his opponents and tries to have them investigated, lies to the public, threatens his party into supporting whatever he wants, ignores laws and political norms, is ignorant of our Constitution and history, abandons our allies and supports autocrats of the world, and seemingly extorts an ally for his own personal advantage [“A grave time for America,” Editorial, Dec. 11]. Must I go on?

With the degradation of our laws, our policies, our relationships with our allies, and our morality, will we end up like Turkey — a democracy that turned into an autocracy? We must not let this happen. Support the impeachment of this president. Write to your representatives!

Jeff Goldschmidt,

 Stony Brook